How to apply to work at Council - our application process

Toowoomba Regional Council office staff

This article will help you understand our recruitment process, and the stages that are involved to select our great staff members. We hope that this information can let you know what to expect from us and what we'll expect from you. Generally, our hiring process will include the following steps:

  1. Submit application
  2. Candidate assessment
  3. Formal interview
  4. Pre-employment checks
  5. Offer 
  6. Feedback

More details about each stage is provided in the blue headings below.

For further information, please email us or phone 131 872.

Selection for positions are based on merit.

The position descriptions at Toowoomba Regional Council contain “success criteria” that you must address as part of your job application. Success criteria refers to a set of criteria which outline the critical requirements that a potential candidate will require in order to be successful in a particular position. 

How will my application be assessed?

At Council, the selection panel is required to assess each application on merit in terms of how well it meets the success criteria. Ensure you highlight how your qualifications, skills, knowledge, abilities and experience meet each of the specific success criteria.

With each position at Council, one of the success criteria will contain a standard statement relating to one of Council’s organisational values and behaviours. You will need to ensure you address this success criteria as part of your application. The standard statement is 'Understanding of and commitment to Council’s organisational value and behaviours, i.e. integrity'. To help you address this criteria, view our organisational values and behaviours graphic below (click on the image to enlarge) or open the TRC Organisational Values and Behaviours.

TRC organisational values and behaviours small graphic

Each advert will detail how many pages you will be allowed to use in a document to address the success criteria.

Receipt of your application will be acknowledged by email to your elected email address.

If your application is not successful at shortlisting, you will be notified via email.

You may undergo a form candidate assessment before and/or after a formal interview. This assessment could be online or face-to-face and involve psychometric testing (cognitive, behavioural and safety ability tests) and/or competency assessments (work sampling, ability tests, etc).

If you are invited to complete any psychometric testing, we recommend that you practice the tests before completing them. To practice psychometric testing, visit the Testgrid website

If your application is successful at shortlisting, you will be invited by the selection panel to an interview via telephone. Please inform the person arranging the interview if you have any special requirements e.g. wheelchair accessibility etc.

You will be interviewed by a selection panel comprising of 2 to 4 people. The interview will follow a structured process and all applicants will be asked the same questions. You will be asked to respond to interview questions relating to the success criteria in the position description.

How will my performance be assessed at the interview?

We use a combination of different techniques. When you are invited to an interview, the selection panel will provide you with the style of interview process involved. This could include situational questions, behavioural questions and ability assessments.

The most common technique is behavioural interviewing. The major principle behind behavioural interviewing is that 'past behaviour predicts future behaviour'. The aim is to understand how you may perform in the role in which you are applying for. This requires you to answer the questions using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) methodology. The STAR method is one of the most effective ways to answer behavioural based interview questions. It provides a framework for talking about an experience which illustrates the competency being assessed by a particular behavioural question. You need to use a real-life example to explain how you have actually demonstrated the skill.

The STAR answering approach includes:

  • S – Situation: detail the background. Provide context. Where? When?
  • T – Task: describe the challenge and expectations. What needed to be done? Why?
  • A – Action: elaborate your specific action. What did you do? How? What tools did you use?
  • R – Results: explain the results; accomplishments, recognition, savings etc. Quantify.

An example structure of a behavioural interview question is 'Tell us about a time ________ happened to you? What did you do? What was the outcome?'

After the interview finishes, you will be given the opportunity to ask any questions. In certain circumstances you may be given the interview questions for perusal prior to the interview. This will be identified when you are invited to attend the interview by the selection panel.

You will be verbally notified of the outcome of your interview.

Please note: other selection methods may also be used in the selection process such as a verification of competencies test. If required, you will be notified prior to the interview that a particular test will be required.

This stage can include checks such as a fit for purpose pre-employment medical assessment, and reference checks with your most recent employers. This stage can include various other checks dependant on the position including a criminal history check, working with children check, and checking your rights to work in Australia.

If you are the successful applicant for the position, you will be notified by phone as soon as possible after the decision is made. The verbal offer, detailing the terms and conditions of your employment, will then be confirmed in writing via a formal contract.

Upon your request, the panel can provide feedback on your application.

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